A 40-year-old Italian man was caught paying a dark web hitman €10,000 ($12,000) in cryptocurrency to assault an ex-girlfriend with acid and to put her in a wheelchair, according to Europol and Italian police.
That man, according to local reporting, was Tommaso Girotti, who was an executive in charge of a digital branch of the $100 billion energy giant Enel that covered health and safety, services and security. Enel said the employee was immediately suspended and then fired in March after it learned of the investigation.
Europol confirmed the unidentified woman was not harmed as one of its agents was able to trace the payment and identify the hitman’s client before any hit took place. The Hague-based policing agency said it carried out “an urgent, complex crypto-analysis to enable the tracing and identification of the provider from which the suspect purchased the cryptocurrencies.” Local media reported that the woman was now under police protection.
The Italian Postal and Communication Police said the suspect had been detained earlier this week. They said the man had paid an intermediary on the dark web to hire a hitman to scar her with acid and injure her so badly she would be paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.
“It looks like the plot of a contemporary thriller in which the author gives life to a nightmare,” read a press release on the Italian Postal Police’s website. “Reality, on the other hand, shows yet another story of a man who thinks he can destroy a woman because he doesn’t accept the end of their story.” The agency said the suspect had become obsessed with the woman, who was reportedly a colleague.
The police identified neither the hitman, nor the dark web site that was used in the crime, though did note that another European police agency had intercepted some messages that provided a lead into the alleged crime. Previously, dark web hitman sites have turned out to be scams, even if their customers were genuine.